How To Deal With Your Neighbour's Unsightly Property
An unsightly property with anti-social neighbours can devalue your own home and pose a health risk. Here are some steps you can take to deal with a neighbour's unsightly property the VideoJug way.
Step 1: Evaluate the situation
Before taking any action, you should first evaluate the situation so that you are clear on the issues it presents. What exactly is the problem? What effect does it have on you? What would you like to happen in order to resolve the situation? It might help to write some notes.
Step 2: Talk to your neighbours
As a first step you should try talking with your neighbours face to face. They may not be aware of the effect their behaviour is having on you. Be as courteous and polite as possible. Keep your own safety in mind and if you feel intimidated by your neighbours take a partner, friend or another neighbour with you. If you feel at all threatened at any point, walk away.
Step 3: Take notes
After talking to your neighbour, make a few notes about the details of the conversation. Be as accurate and detailed as you can. This will be useful if the matter becomes a formal complaint later in the process, as Local Authorities need to know that you have tried to resolve the problem yourself first.
Step 4: Write a letter
If your neighbour does not respond to your request, try writing them a letter. This may sound formal but is an effective way of communicating if personal dialogue appears to be failing. Explain in the letter exactly what the problem is, what effect it is having on you and what you would like done about it.
Step 5: Keep records
Keep a copy of all correspondence with your neighbour. Also consider taking photographs of the unsightly property to back up your claims. Be careful to be discreet when doing this - your neighbours may take issue with you photographing their property. Never enter their boundaries to do this without permission. Date and store these photos carefully.
Step 6: Contact their landlord
If your neighbour rents their property they may have terms in their lease which require them to maintain a reasonable level of tidiness. Contact their landlord and discuss the situation with them. You can find out who owns a property from the Land Registry, for a small fee.
Step 7: Contact the Local Authorities
If none of the previous steps work, you can contact the Environmental Health Department of your local council. Find their details in the phone book. State that you would like to make a complaint against your neighbour, and provide as many details as possible. Explain the problem and your concerns. Stored, or poorly-disposed waste can attract vermin which is taken very seriously. After placing a complaint both you are likely to receive a visit from an Environmental Health Officer who will assess the situation. They may also visit your neighbour and give them notice that a complaint has been made against them.
Step 8: A Litter Clearing Notice
If the Environmental Health Officer cannot resolve the problem informally, the local authority may decide to issue your neighbour with a Litter Clearing Notice. If your neighbour refuses to comply with this then they could face prosecution and a fine of up to £2500.